300 Million Question

This month, we thought we’d take the time to tell our story—the story of IPT Africa’s mission to help the UK international charity sector. It’s a story that starts with a number—a big number.


We estimate that 99% of the charities in England and Wales lose that much yearly due to excessive FX rates, bank charges, and rejected or returned payments. And that could well be a conservative number.

Worryingly, it could be much, much larger.

In England and Wales alone, over 16,200 charities work overseas. Their annual income equates to £ 27.3 billion, with £ 19.7 billion attributed to the top 1%. The top 1% are serviced well by top-tier or niche banks and non-bank FIs, but for the other 99%, it’s a case of “make do” with whatever’s left regarding international payment providers.

4% FX margins on single-line transactions, 10% on forward contracts, and over 20% + losses made on rejected payments are just some of the factors contributing to that £300,000,000+ number.

That’s a massive chunk of the £ 7.9 billion devoured by unethical FX practices, especially when you consider £7 buys a mosquito net, £45 buys a water filtration unit, or £300 is almost half the cost of a playground extension.

Substandard or poor service, overbearing and clumsy KYC and compliance asks, and a general lack of appreciation for INGO challenges mean that 99% of the UK INGO market is incredibly underserved.

With over 20 years of experience and extensive knowledge in the payments and foreign exchange sectors, our CEO, Mark O’Sullivan, and COO, Dan Goodwin, devised a plan and policy.

Not only would they build a client service model around INGO needs, using IPT’s extensive African currency coverage (30+ currencies, 40+ country deliverability), but they’d deploy an ‘Ethical Payment Policy’:

  • An FX rate cap at 1%
  • No fees for INGO clients.
  • A 100% settlement return guarantee on undeliverable payments – regardless of currency market movements.

IPT Africa has consistently executed payments at a market-leading 99.5% success rate. We feel it’s a level of success INGOs should be able to enjoy, too.

IPT Africa now has the challenge of letting the charity world know that this is what we can offer. We know that competitor organizations have the size and the legacy, but they’ve had it their way for far too long.

It’s time for an underdog to come in and shake things up by showing INGOs that they can and do deserve more when it comes to delivering their hard-earned funds overseas.

They deserve transparency, specialist support, and peace of mind when buying local currency and executing cross-border payments.

They deserve a payment partner who values community, knowledge sharing, and best practice promotion and can help them solve payment problems with human solutions.

Why not join us on the IPT Africa journey if you’re a charity reading this story?

Because, after all, ethical payments demand ethical partners.

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